With a meagre one year foundation course at art school, Lulu Guinness has established a prolific company built entirely upon individual passion for fashion, and a deep insight into all things glamorous.
The originality of her designs, which are inspired by 50’s pin up glamour girls, Parisian bourgeois and the modern retro chic, are what thrusted her collection into early success and thus made her items must-haves for both celebrities and public alike. Lulu lends her style to handbags, jewellery, perfume, shoes as well as home ware, giving each product her undivided attention and signature stamp.
She creates couture as well as prêt-a-porter, and some of her collectable handbags have already been recognised as ‘tomorrow’s treasures’ and put into many museums. Being granted an OBE in 2006 from Her Majesty the Queen for her contribution to British fashion is just one of the highlights of Lulu’s fabulous career.
So what exactly is it that has made Lulu cause such a stir in the fashion industry since 1989? Is it her attention to detail, individual use of exotic fabrics, or simply the ability to know what will sell, and what women want? Of course, it is all of the above. You cannot help but look at a selection of her collection and yearn to own it all. Her clutches, in particular, are immaculately adorable, with the red snakeskin lips clutch becoming iconic of her style. Both inside and out, her handbags are designed with meticulous attention, giving even the clasps her intricate L.G label.
However what caught my undivided attention was not the handbags but the jewellery. I came across Lulu’s website by chance and was immediately hooked on her bracelets, stunned that I had not seen her work before. My favourite is the ruby red lips charm hanging delicately from a silver bracelet, with the t-bar being sculptured into a miniature silver and red lipstick. The lips and lipstick are her signature design, appearing in some unique manner on most of her collection. The red lipstick is a 50’s classic, which Lulu has stylishly reinvented into retro glamour for the modern woman.
It is hence not surprising then, that Lulu Guinness has a wide spread celebrity following, including Dita von Teese, Helena Bonham Carter, Sophie Dahl, Keira Knightley, Claudia Schiffer and Agness Deyn to name but a few. Her items have appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Grazia, Eve and Glamour, all promoting her signature pieces to the fashion hungry reader. With each new seasonal collection Lulu goes from strength to strength, and has her items in large department stores in London, New York and Japan as well as boutiques dotted around the world. She is an inspiration to women worldwide as a powerful and independent woman, as well as a hugely successful designer. If you have not done so already, go to www.luluguinness.com to share her passion for fashion, or read her first book ‘Put on your Pearls, Girls!’ an adult pop-up book that includes all her famous phrases and her philosophy on living well. I can promise you, once you have a look, you’re hooked, and quite rightly so.